Monday 11 June 2012

The Round-up w/e 10/06/2012

Before continuing I’d like to point out than none of the stories in this week’s round-up were obtained by the illegal use of phone hacking or hiring of private investigators. Instead we’ve followed the time honoured journalistic tradition of nicking them from other people’s sites.

We’ll start by remembering the science fiction genius of Ray Bradbury who died last Tuesday aged 91. A great visionary and writer who inspired many people’s interest in space and science.

A bit of self-promotion here for my recent post Is Faith Reasonable? It was interesting to read this piece on Why Science is Hard to Believe shortly after I posted it. Perhaps it just takes too much cognitive effort to be properly rational.

I might not need to be writing too many more posts such as that one anyway. According to Nigel Barber religion only has about another quarter of a century to go. Some statistical support is added to the trend by the lowering religiosity of the Generation Xers as reported by the Friendly Atheist.

While there still are churches though I reckon this would be a fantastic job for an atheist. Although there are other better paid jobs going in the field of made up nonsense as the NHS is looking to pay a sugar pill dispenser.

Did you see the bit about how it has been shown that exercise doesn’t help depression? I saw it all over the place but Martin Robbins uses it to illustrate again how we need to look past the headlines sometimes.

The next section is not for arachnophobes as there have been reports of killer spiders invading a town in Assam, India. Here the Daily Mail reports on the rumours and prints a helpful picture of a large spider even though they don’t know the species that may be involved. A few days later The Hindu prints a more circumspect account although it too has a jolly nice picture of an eight legged beastie. Interesting to note that at least one if not both of the fatalities consulted a witchdoctor before trying science based medicine.

Rodentia neurologica, no, not a Harry Potter spell, but a very cool exercise in mouse brain mapping.

Remember that neutrino experiment that seemed to contradict the theory of special relativity? The one that everyone said was probably wrong? Well it’s now been officially declared wrong so let’s hear no more of it!

How do we feel about fetal genome sequencing?

Dave Watts is a geek and proud of it. What’s more he want’s MP’s to be aware of the importance of evidence-based policy and wants to provide them with their own copy of the Geek Manifesto. You can find out more about him here, and his campaign here.

No matter how much evidence you throw at a destructive myth some just refuse to go away. The supposed link between autism and vaccines is just one example.

The British Chiropractic Association is apparently very good at evidence. They can accurately pick the evidence that suits them every time.

Whilst we’re on the subject of CAM here’s an interesting article by Orac on Reiki for dogs.

Some nice illustrations and graphics next. We start off with some Moore's Laws that you might not be familiar with. Next up is a Wormhole Wanted Poster and finally it’s the return of the Credible Hulk.

This Wednesday is the marvellous Colin Wright at Birmingham Skeptics in the Pub so make sure you put it in your diary. And since you have your diary open another event to note down is this one via our friends at UB:ASH who are hosting the AGM of the National Federation of Student Atheist, Humanist and Secular Societies’. They have Sully O’Sullivan and Ricky Molland doing their controversial and acclaimed act “Kill Your God” which is open to the general public.

And one final plug for friends, Cheltenham Skeptics in the Pub are running a Fringe event for the Cheltenham Science Festival this week. You can find full details of all the fantastic things they have on offer here.

Finally, we’ll round off with this wonderful song thanking all the haters out there. There's a bit of NSFW language in this one so be warned.

This round-up was put together by Patrick Redmond (@paddyrex) helped in no small way be links provided by Roy Beddowes.

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